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With the First Snow, Five Old-School New England Ski Chalets

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Forecasters have snow arriving early this year in New England, kicking off the ski season. Sure, it might just be a light dusting, but that won't keep the powder hounds from hoping for an early jump on the season. The ski bums out West might get more snow on bigger mountains, but there's something to be said for classic "ice coast" skiing. So we've found five ski houses at some of New England's most historic resorts, kicking off with the Vermont classic, Stowe. Recently, lift ticket prices at the famous resort have gone off the charts—try $92 per day—but a few of the most famous trails, known as "The Front Four," have remained unchanged since they were cut by the Civillian Conservation Corps back in the 1930s. As one might imagine, those high ticket prices are accompanied by equally high real estate values. This 3,500-square-foot post-and-beam home sits relatively far from the slopes and still runs $1.7M.

? For those who want their classic skiing matched by some cliched architecture, the Mittersill development near Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire checks all the boxes. This Swiss-style chalet sits below long-defunct, soon-to-reopen Mittersill Mountain, currently a frequent backcountry destination for adventurous schussers, but is also a short drive from the lifts at Cannon, where the first aerial tramway in the U.S. was installed in the 1930s. The freestanding home has three beds, two baths, and 1,100-square-feet of interior space. In other words, it's quaint all around, for $375K.

? This low-slung ranch is also rocking a rustic look, but, then again, so is the nearby ski area, Mad River Glen. Famous for its band of hardcore devotees, the mountain is so hung up on the past that it has yet to replace its aging single chairlift, one of only two remaining in the country. Regulars attribute the laid back attitude in part to that slow lift, which helps preserve the snow, but we'd have to say this hippie haven is decidedly not family friendly. Good thing this ski house is, with two regular bedrooms and a bunk room for the kids, plus an agreeable $220K price tag.

? For hardcore skiers in the know, Vermont's Burke Mountain offers a less crowded alternative to the scene over at Mad River Glen. Home to Burke Mountain Academy, a high school breeding ground for Olympians, the mountain has long honed racing talent. This converted barn would be the perfect home for an aspiring Bode Miller, considering the ski tuning room in the basement and the party-happy media room. Listed for $635K, the house uses the barn's original siding as interior walls for that extra rustic charm.

? This mountain cottage was built in 1967, but doesn't seem to have seen many updates since. Luckily, that's just the way that Magic Mountain regulars like it. After a multi-year closure in the 1990s due to bankruptcy, the mountain was again facing a possible shuttering before a group of die hards banded together to raise money for the mountain. Today, Magic is going strong as a laid-back alternative to the nearby megaresort of Stratton, with limited grooming to please expert skiers. This shag-carpeted bachelor pad, on the market for $139K, is also a low-budget alternative to the million-dollar condos over at Stratton.

· Timber Ridge [Sotheby's]
· 16 Sunset Road [Zillow]
· 4314 Millbrook Rd [Zillow]
· 29 Dashney Road [Zillow]
· 309 Magic Circle [Zillow]